In the world of customer service, delivering an outstanding customer experience is paramount. Quality assurance plays a crucial role in ensuring consistent service quality and adherence to company standards. Recently, MaestroQA had the opportunity to speak with Sydney, an experienced QA professional, to learn about her journey in QA and her role at Angi’s List, Handy, and Home Advisor (now Angi). Through our conversation, Sydney shared valuable insights on the transformative power of revamping QA processes from grading to growth.
Sydney's journey in QA began at Patagonia, a company known for its robust QA program, where she developed a passion for delivering exceptional customer service. She then brought her expertise to Classpass, where she launched a QA program. Sydney's next challenge was at Angi, formerly Angi's List, where she faced skepticism about the efficacy of QA. Undeterred, Sydney reshaped the perception of QA within the company.
Sydney encountered the misconception that QA served primarily as a training mechanism. She explained, "If we were seeing an issue with agent handling, the solution was to QA more. And I think the assumption was that because you're giving agents feedback through QA, that they would automatically know by getting more QA what they needed to fix in the interaction." However, Sydney recognized that merely providing feedback without guidance did not lead to improvement. To address this gap, she refined the QA rubrics to target knowledge gaps and areas for agent improvement and introduced greater transparency.
Transparency among graders became a catalyst for change in Sydney's QA journey. By implementing GraderQA, a tool that anonymously regrades QA’d tickets via a benchmark grader for alignment, Sydney eliminated the disconnect between feedback and coaching. This not only increased the transparency amongst the QA team itself, but also let agents know they could expect consistent grading/feedback across the board. She noted, "Instead of having a weekly calibration with our BPO graders, we got rid of calibrations and we started to implement the 'Grade the Grader' workflow." This transparency improved alignment and enabled analysts to understand why their grading differed from the expected standards. It avoided the temptation for graders to only "do it right" during standard calibration, which often led to neglecting these best practices in their day-to-day workflows.
Technology played a crucial role in Sydney's QA revolution. The integration of Maestro's QA platform provided valuable insights and data. Sydney explained, "Once we had data we trusted, we were then able to make an argument for needing to implement more training." To support targeted training, Sydney implemented Lessonly, a learning management system (LMS). This integration allowed the team to send out tailored trainings quickly and gauge agent understanding.
Sydney discovered that coaching was lacking for consistently underperforming agents, as agents only received coaching sessions when they completely failed a QA rubric. She emphasized the importance of coaching consistently, before an agent’s low performance got out of hand, stating, "Because those agents aren't getting zero percent, they're not being coached." To address this issue, Sydney established coaching parameters and introduced coaching forms within the Maestro platform. This increased visibility into coaching sessions ensured agents received the necessary support and feedback to improve.
Working exclusively with outsourced BPO agents presented challenges, but Sydney fostered a collaborative partnership. She involved BPO agents in decision-making, addressed their feedback, and demonstrated the value of the "Grade the Grader" workflow. Sydney reflected, "I think they started to view me as a partner with them rather than just someone who was kinda talking down the pipeline, and that got some buy-in."
Sydney's efforts in revamping QA processes have had a tangible impact on Angi. By aligning BPO partners and focusing on QA scores and productivity, the company ensures a commitment to exceptional customer experiences throughout its operations. Sydney emphasized, "QA principles were adopted across all customer support departments, fostering a culture of continuous improvement."
Sydney's journey at Angi exemplifies the transformative power of revamping QA processes. By shifting the perception of QA from being solely a training mechanism to a tool for continuous improvement, Sydney has propelled her organization towards delivering exceptional customer service. Through the integration of technology, transparency, and targeted trainings, the future of QA at Angi shines bright.
Unlocking the full potential of QA requires a shift from mere grading to fostering growth and continuous improvement. Sydney's journey provides valuable lessons and actionable strategies for optimizing QA programs. By rebuilding trust in QA data, implementing targeted training, and emphasizing coaching and development, companies can unlock their QA potential and deliver exceptional customer service.